Sunday, May 30, 2010

In Search of the Elusive Cup

Last night began the greatest (in my humble opinion) championship series in sports. The Stanley Cup Finals. Unlike any other championship trophy, each player gets to take the trophy home with him for a day. Players so reverence "The Cup" that they will not touch it unless they have hoisted it over their head after winning the playoffs.

This year's participants are a pair of teams who haven't won "The Cup" in a long time. The Chicago Blackhawks haven't won a Stanley Cup in my lifetime. The last won it in 1961. The Philadelphia Flyers last won it in 1975.

There should be quite a bit of scoring, as neither team is known for it's outstanding goal tending. Neither team is currently using the goalie that it started the season with. Both teams have good goal scorers, gritty players and guys who will take one for the team.

Some team's futility will end at the completion of this series. May the best team win.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Flashback Friday #89

You Ate What?

A warm welcome to all who have allotted the 1.375 minutes of their day to read the ramblings of an old man as he looks over his shoulder. In today's post I take a peek back at some of the products that used to be on grocer's shelves, that I, as a youth, consumed (at one point or another). You may have never heard of these things, but they all are (or were) real items.

Quisp: This was a sweetened corn cereal similar to Captain Crunch. We were ecstatic when Mom would bring Quisp home. The cartoon mascot was a little alien wearing a propeller beanie. There was also a companion cereal, whose mascot was an astronaut (I don't remember the name, help anyone?) I do remember that shortly before it left the marketplace, it became orange flavored (kind of like Tang).

Baron Von Raspberry & Sir Grapefellow: These were also sweetened breakfast cereals. They were kind of like Frankenberry, only raspberry and grape flavored. The mascots were WWI flying aces (Von Raspberrywas German, Grapefellow was British) that flew bi-planes. I could never make up my mind which was my favorite, so Mom usually bought a box of each.

Freakies: Another sweetened cereal that showed up around our house. The mascots were nine(?) monster/creatures that lived in a tree. You got one free inside each box. I wanted to get the whole set, but never succeeded.

Frute Brute: This was yet another sweetened cereal. It was in the Frankenberry/Count Chocula/Booberry family. The mascot was a werewolf that loved fruit flavors.

Koogle: This was flavored peanut butter. There were three different flavors: chocolate, carmel & banana. Some people thought it was gross. I loved it.

Marathon: This was a chocolate coated caramel candy bar. What was different about it was that it was very thin and criss-cross weave. You could freeze it and break it into little pieces to share with a lot of kids, or you could eat it at room temperature and have a gooey mess by the time you finished. The ad stated "Marathon, lasts a good long time".

Chelsea: This was a soda pop manufactured by Anheiser-Busch. It was apple flavored and looked just like beer when you poured it into a glass. It even came in amber bottles. We always pretended that it was beer when we had it. It wasn't on the market for long.
PDQ: This was a milk additive similar to Nestle's Quik. The big difference was it was granular, instead of a powder. It came in three flavors: chocolate, strawberry & eggnog. Mom got after us for eating spoonfuls straight out of the jar. We also used it as an ice cream topping.

Barrelhead:This was a root beer with the biggest, foamiest head that I have ever seen. For those of us who like to slurp off the foam from our root beers, it was matchless. We once shook up a can so much that when we opened it, it shot over the telephone wire leading to the house.

Is there anything you used to enjoy that is no longer around?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fuzzy Dandelion Picker

Here is a short video of "The Girl" picking fuzzy dandelions. She loves to pick them, then wave them around. I smile every time I watch this.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Flashback Friday # 88

The Taxi Ride

Greeting to all my faithful & adoring fans out there (you are out there, aren't you?). I'm sure the crickets that I'm hearing are simply outside my window. Welcome to another edition of Flashback Friday.

In today's post I discuss the only taxi ride that I took prior to being of voting age. Life was simpler back then. Now days, not many people would put their pre-teen child in a car alone with a complete stranger, late at night.

In my last post, I described that Mom worked at a tile factory. During her days working on the floor, she was offered overtime. Since there were two shifts running, the overtime happened late Friday & Saturday nights. Mom would get off at 3PM, catch some sleep, and go back in at Midnight. She would work until 8 AM the next morning. They even let Dad work weekends with her. The extra money sure came in handy.

What does this have anything to do with taxis, you may ask. One time, my folks went in to Westerville to pick up some extra hours. My brother was staying with my cousin, and I was to stay with my grandma. We got to grandmas around 11:30 PM, and my folks said goodnight, and headed to the tile factory. Grandma wanted me to get into bed and go to sleep.

I had been asleep, and had caught my second wind. I wasn't the least bit tired. I really didn't want to be awake late at night at grandma's, because it was kind of spooky (thanks Gattabout for telling me that bodies were buried in the dirt part of her basement). I really, really,really didn't want to be there. I called Mom at the factory. She told me that neither she, nor Dad, couldn't come and get me. She told me that I would be fine. But I knew better.

It was decided that a taxi would pick me up at grandma's and take me over to the factory. I remember a blue car pulling into the driveway. I remember getting into the front seat. He took me over to the factory for the unheard of price of $2.

My second wind was still blowing. I helped Mom with a few menial jobs that needed to be done. I was going strong until about 3 AM. By that time I was wore out, and I looked for someplace to sack out. My parents found me asleep on a sack of tile glaze mix.

To this day, I can still go to sleep anywhere.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Woo Hoo! Front page again!

One of my LOL's made the front page of Pundit Kitchen again. This is my second front page pic. Here it is:
Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama
see more Political Pictures
I'm Sir Nottaguy-Imadad there too. If you click on my name at the "Caption by" you can see all of my LOL's.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pictures to share with you

I was cleaning out the inbox on my phone today (yes, that was an audible gasp you just heard from Lady Nottaguy-TYG and The Ogre)and thought I would share some recent grand child pictures with you.

Here is a shot of Princess Pinky on the famous "red couch".

And here's another, that shows us a better side of her.

Here is Princess Splenda holding her sweet little sister.

Here is a picture of Prince Zesty spending the gift card he got from us for his birthday. Just like his momma, he likes to shop.

Here's a picture of "The Girl". Mommy like to put fancy headbands on her.

And here is a pic of her older brother "The Boy" working hard on his "SS Magnum 410". This picture cracks me up because I did the same thing at his age.

Here is a picture of Miss A helping out in the kitchen.

This is her brother, Master J, holding a bookmark he made by sewing buttons on it.

This is her other brother, Master H (he's the youngest in their family), sporting a pair of shades that would make Elton John envious.

And for those who missed it on her daddy's blog, or my wife's blog, here is a picture of "Ninja Baby".

Friday, May 14, 2010

Flashback Friday # 87

Running Fast

A hearty welcome to all. pull up a chair and join the story telling ring. In today's post we cover the fine are of running fast, pro and con.

When I was but a youth, I'll be the first to admit that I was on the larger side of average (aka I was a fat kid). I may have been fat, but I was able to move very good for someone my size. In fact, I was able to outrun and/or out race other kids my age who weighed less. This frustrated many of them. I won many a quarter by outracing them.

Alas, pride goeth before a fall. One day at school, this kid, who I really didn't like, challenged me to a race. I knew I could beat him because I had seen him race before, and I had beaten many of the kids that raced him. I figured it was an easy quarter.

Our course was the sidewalk in front of the school, from the front door to the gymnasium door (about 40 yards or so). We each gave our quarter to "an impartial third party", and waited for the judge to take his position at the finish line.

When he got to the finish line, he turned and said "On your mark, get set, GO!". Like a blur, I took off, eating the yards with each passing second. In a moment of realization, I found out why this course was chosen.

This sidewalk sloped downhill. when you are running full tilt downhill, strange things start to happen. About halfway through the course, I started losing my balance. It was almost like slow motion. I felt myself pitching foreword, arms flailing, until I felt myself lift off the ground, temporarily flying.

Since I am not a bird, butterfly, bumble bee, or any other flying animal, there was only one thing that could have happened. And it did. I crash landed. I hit hard and rolled to the bottom of the race course. The bad thing was, I still almost beat him. Almost doesn't count. He got my quarter and the satisfaction of sneering at me and laughing his head off at my plight.

All my future races were run on level ground.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Adding to the collection

One of the men at our church came into my Sunday School class recently carrying a handful of neckties. A friend of his gave him a large quantity of ties. There were some cartoon ties in the mix, and since he doesn't wear the cartoon ties, he thought that I might want them. He told me that any that I didn't want, just to throw away. There's none in this bunch that I cannot see myself wearing.

From L to R we have Scooby Doo, Fiesta Mickey & friends, Santa Taz,Kissy Garfield, WWE Mickey & friends, Taz close-up and Cleveland Indians.

Monday, May 10, 2010

How can you turn down an offer like that?

Yesterday, for Mother's Day, the family met at my house. My Mom & Dad (plus their live in caretaker), my nearly 90 year old MIL, and my brother & his wife all congregated here to eat a meal that Mom prepared and transported here (she loves to cook, but has a small house).

After we ate more than we should have, we all sat in the living room and talked. Dad was telling some stories about when he was at a nursing home, recovering from heart surgery. Not to be outdone, my MIL had to pipe up about some of the goings on at her nursing home.

I interject this to say, anything my MIL says, my Dad twists in such a way that eventually my MIL is turning four shades of red. My MIL is so naive, that she doesn't realize how something is going to sound, even after she says it.Dad has always teased her, and it isn't until she is neck deep in the hole does she realize to throw down the shovel.

Anyway my MIL said to my Dad, "If you want to have a fun & entertaining night, you need to come spend the night with me". Needless to say, Dad was on this like white on rice. "Sounds good to me, lets set a date.", He says. "A date for what?" she asked. "For me to spend the night with you.", he replies. "You can't spend the night with me" she says, I only have one bed". He shot back "That's all we'll need."

By this time the rest of the family is HOWLING. She continued for another few minutes, digging her hole deeper & deeper. Every time she utters something, Dad had a comeback for it. She finally told him "You twist everything I say, why don't you just shut up."

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flashback Friday # 86

Candy For Mom

Hello friends. Pull up a chair and join me as I spin another tale of mystery and intrigue (OK, maybe it will be another boring post about people that you don't know). Since Mother's Day is just around the corner, my Mom gets to be the star of today's post.

Mom used to work at a tile company in Westerville. It is now the largest manufacturer of handmade ceramic tile in America. Back then, it was much smaller (more on this company in future posts, since I worked some weekends there as a teen). She worked her way up from the trim tables into the office (along the way becoming the 1st woman forklift driver in the plant). Her job in the office was to call the various trucking companies to come pick up freight.

The trucking companies all wanted Mom to call them when she needed something delivered. How do you get on the good side with the dispatcher? Boxes of chocolates. At the holidays (some even knew Mom's birthday) they sent boxes of candy.

Mom loves chocolates. Her favorites are the nutty ones and the caramels. Forrest Gump says that "My momma always said that life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get". That was the thing that my momma didn't like. When you've got a hankering for a nut chew, the last thing you want is a lime creme.

That's why Mom's favorite box of chocolates was Whitman's Sampler. You didn't have to guess what you were going to get. all the various candies were diagrammed as to their location. Whenever Mom got a box of Whitman's, she would consume all the caramels and nut candies. All the cremes and the (egad) orange jelly candy were offered to me & my brother. He like the same ones that Mom did, meaning I got the remainder of the box. It's amazing how you can learn to like lime creme.

But what do if you don't have a diagram telling which candy is which? Do you risk taking a bite out of coconut? Consuming a cherry fondue? Not my Mom. She had a fool-proof way of telling what was what. She squished them. She figured that it's her candy and she'd squish if she wants to. If she didn't like what she saw, she didn't eat it.

Most people would throw away squished chocolates. Not Mom. She knew that she had a crumb crusher at home who would eat it no matter what it looked like. There is, however, a limit to the candies that I will eat. I don't think I would like any in the following sketch (and neither would my Mum)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Look Through Papa's Junk Drawer

One of the things that fascinates my oldest grandson, "The Boy", is looking through my junk drawer. Face it, we all have some place where we stash things that are junk to everyone in the world, but us. Some of the items in my junk drawer actually are quite valuable. Other, not so much. Here's a sampling of some of the things that my grandson enjoys in my drawer of "good junk" (as Fat Albert would call it).

This is a collection of foreign money that I have accumulated over the years. Some of it was given to me from friends & relatives, but most of it was found in the change that I get back from my everyday transactions at various stores. Look close at your change. You may be getting a Rand, Pence or Franc.

Here is a handful of small plastic soldiers that I have had since my youth. You can tell the size of them by comparing them to the quarter to the left of them. If my train layout had a combat scene, these would be on it because they are the same size as my HO scale people.

These are some knives that my grandfather found in the trash during his trash route. I got them after grandma passed. The top knife has a crown of brass on the hilt with a brass braid winding down it. The bottom knife & scabbard don't go together, but look good when combined.

Here are some prehistoric scene card that came on the backs of Pom-Pom & Junior Mints boxes in the 1970's. At one time, I had the whole set of 16. This is all that remains.
These are mementos that my great Uncle Charles brought home from WWII. Pictured are a hat, uniform patches, an armband, a small U.S. Army flag and a buckle with the Luftwaffe (German air force) logo. I also got these after grandma passed (Uncle Charles was her brother).
These are pins given to me by my brother, Sir Gattabout. He spent eight years in the US Army. He was a paratrooper in the 82ND Airborne. Many of the coins above were brought back by him from his jaunts in Central America.

These are the notes from the first sermon I ever preached. We were having "Youth Emphasis Sunday" and two of the teen-age boys got to preach that Sunday morning. I haven't been a teenager in a long, long time. The sermon was titled "Not The Ten Suggestions".

Finally, here are some mementos of the Symphonic Band trip I helped chaperon during Lady Lemon's senior year (she was first chair bassoon player). We went to Toronto for a band competition. While there we went to Medieval Times restaurant, Pantages theatre (and saw The Phantom Of The Opera), Hard Rock Cafe in Sky Dome, The CN Tower, and I, and another chaperon, ventured to The Hockey Hall of Fame while everyone else was spending 90 minutes shopping in a big mall. We figured you can shop anywhere. There may never be another time to visit the Hall of Fame.

There are many other things too wonderful to mention (or to junky to show). I hope you've enjoyed the trip through Pap's junk drawer.